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21DFXDolphinPlank

Fall Challenge- 21 Day Fix Yourself!

Hey Beauties! Summer is almost over, and if you’re like me, you’re all…where did it go? And also, I seem to have misplaced my beach bod. *Sigh

About mid-July, I had a small but private ceremony with myself that I called ‘Intervention’.

Let me explain. I am an off and on again workout enthusiast. I have been working out with Beachbody programs (P90X, T-25, Insanity, +many more) for almost 5 years now. I was first drawn to the programs because I saw the fun muscles everyone was getting from P90X, and I wanted some too. It was a killer workout and my results had me hooked. More than just toning up and losing weight, it helped rebuild my confidence after a pretty rocky ending to a long-term relationship (fun times!).

21 day fix

Well, I was 5 years younger and have since changed jobs, moved, and formed a really solid relationship with Ben & Jerry.

However, I have always come back to the Beachbody programs and they’ve never let me down. I have had the most success when I’ve joined a Challenge Group, which is exactly what I did about a month ago when I gave 21 Day Fix a shot. Challenge Groups are basically Facebook support groups for eating healthy, getting fit, and having people to vent to other than your friends, boyfriends, or spouses. They also provide awesome ideas and create accountability. I knew I made the right choice when I looked at the clean eating plan, tried the workouts, and had an amazing Challenge Group to support me. Once again, my results after ONE MONTH have me pumped and I’m in it for the long haul!

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I also started drinking Shakeology, a delicious superfood-packed protein shake that is included in the Beachbody Challenge Packs. Besides protein and fiber, it contains prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. I basically got to drink the healthiest chocolate milkshake every night and not feel guilty about it. It was convenient for me to take on the go, and I felt like it helped my energy level, digestion, and stress levels. (It comes in Strawberry, Vanilla, Greenberry, and Vegan Chocolate and Tropical Strawberry, as well).

*Drool*

Shakeology

I figured it made perfect sense to become a Beachbody Coach since I have unofficially been making everyone listen to me talk about the programs while doling out advice for several years! I now want to help people experience the same or similar results with one of these programs. Time to pay it forward. And not going to lie… the coach discount makes up for years of buying these products at the regular price ;-).

21DFXDolphinPlank

Want to join my next Challenge???

Email me at amygenduso@beautyxpose.com for more information

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Top Off Your Outfit With Berricle

Sometimes I style an outfit around a top, sometimes around a pair of shoes and sometimes around a specific piece of jewelry. And while I love the look of expensive jewelry, I never want to pay designer prices. I always seem to lose earrings and I don’t often wear most of my necklaces and bracelets more than a few times, so I can’t justify the expense sometimes.

That’s where retailers like Berricle come in clutch. According to their site, “BERRICLE.com is an online jewelry purveyor founded in 2006 with the mission to become the premier web-based destination for shoppers seeking attainable yet elegant sterling silver, gold and Cubic Zirconia jewelry of the highest craftsmanship and outstanding customer service.”

berricle

Elegant yet attainable jewelry? Who doesn’t want that? Take for example, this sapphire pendant necklace they generously gifted me. It is classical sophisticated and only $29.99. To an untrained eye, the pendant looks like stones look real, even though they are CZ. I’ve been wearing it a lot lately and have received tons of compliments, which is always the true test. People are always surprised when I tell them it costs less than $30.

berricle

As if their style and price point isn’t enough, every Friday Berricle hosts Friday Happy Hour where the give away one piece of jewelry to a lucky winner. This week, they’re giving away a pair of Swarovski halo stud earrings. Now excuse me while I enter and test my luck. Come to momma, beauties!

What is your favorite piece of jewelry from Berricle?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

How to style an a-line skirt two ways

One Skirt, Two Ways – In the Office

This post should really be titled “How toStyle an A-line Skirt for Work,” but whatever.  Believe it or not, I only own ONE … I repeat, ONE … skirt. It’s this navy a-line skirt you see in this here post. I love the idea of skirts, but they always seem to ride up or turn around on me, so I end up pissed rather than feeling fabulous and fresh. In a fit of skirt-induced rage, I got rid of all of my skirts except this one since it didn’t move around as much as the others.

Seeing that this skirt is it for me, I need to be able to style it different ways for all of the different events in my life. And as much as I wish it wasn’t so, going to work is the most common event in my life (outside of eating, drinking and breathing, of course). So here you go, an outfit I sported this past week to work. And please find it in your heart to excuse the photo quality here, my camera died right before I shot with Agnes, so I had to resort to my trusty iPhone.

How to style an a-line skirt two ways How to style an a-line skirt two ways How to style an a-line skirt two ways How to style an a-line skirt two waysShirt J.Crew (similar) | Skirt Cynthia Riley (similar) | Flats Cole Haan

Next up – how to style an a-line skirt for date night.

What would you pair with this skirt for a day at the office?

Photo: beautyXposé; Diclosure

back to school

Back to School Giveaway

Hi, beauties. I have something exciting for you! I’ve teamed up with a group of fabulous beauty bloggers to bring you a giveaway just in time for the back to school season. Imagine the damage you could do at someplace like Target with a $350 gift card. And if you’re like me and too old to go back to school, no worries, you’re still welcome to enter. All of the details are below and good luck to everyone!

Enter here:

$350 Visa Giftcard Giveaway

Giveaway is international, begins 8/18/15 and ends 9/1/15

Fellow beauties participating in the giveaway:

Mina Slater, Beauty Info Zone, Glamorable, TheFabZilla, beautyXpose, Polarbelle, VanityRouge, Beauty by Miss L, Makeuprshutup, My Highest Self, Makeup By Kim Porter, Adna Christina Beauty, The Lacquerologist, Beauty Tidbits, Color Me So Crazy, The Beauty of Life, Prime Beauty, Collective Beauty.

And if you were wondering who that rando child is in the cover photo … it’s yours truly sometime in elementary school. Basically a child model.

What would you purchase with a $350 Visa gift card?

Photo: beautyXposé; Disclosure

european vacation

Europe 2015: Split

After packing up in Dubrovnik, the boyfriend and I packed up our (very crappy) rental car and headed up the Croatian coast to Split. The city of Split is much bigger and more urban than Dubrovnik, so it was a pretty different vibe than the previous two days. After checking into our AirBnB, we headed down to the Old Town and promenade.

Split, Croatia IMG_4155 Split, Croatia

To be completely honest, Split was my least favorite of the three Croatian cities we visited. It was a fun city with gorgeous ruins and some tasty food, but the promenade smelled like sulfur (not sure if it’s a permanent smell) and it was dirtier than Dubrovnik (I guess that’s what you get for being in a city). But with that said, we had a great two days and there were some serious highlights.

Split, Croatia Split, Croatia Split, Croatia Split, Croatia

The first thing we did after heading out was walk the promenade for as long as we could handle the smell and then head to the Old Town to walk the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, which were so different than the in Dubrovnik. I didn’t realize in advance, but Split was built in the 4th century and is centered around Roman ruins. Exploring them felt like I was back in the time of gladiators.

Split, Croatia Split, Croatia Split, Croatia

After exploring the ruins and walking the alleys we had a late, delicious dinner at Uje Oil Bar. It’s fair to say that this was my first memorable meal in Croatia and my favorite in Split. I had marinated white fish, my boyfriend and lamb skewers and we split some bread and olive oil. Our waiter seemed confused why he had to deal with customers, but we had a great time aside from the iffy service. After dinner, we stumbled upon To Je To, a fabulous bar owned by an ex-pat from Michigan. We enjoyed the live music and drinks for a while before heading to bed.

The next day we woke up too late to catch the ferry to Hvar, which we regret, so instead we walked along the perimeter of the city and enjoyed a quick dip in the water each time we wanted to rest our tired feet. We started at the main city beach, Bacvice, but moved along to less populated areas quickly. Bacvice was fine, but it was over crowded and just not as nice as the other, more hidden areas.

Split, Croatia Split, Croatia Split, Croatia

After walking around for a bit more, relaxing and getting washed up back at the apartment, we headed out for our last meal and night out in Split. I had an amazing plate of green pasta with seafood for dinner at Restaurant Trattoria Tinel, a glass of local wine at Marcvs Marvlvs Spalatensis and then ended the night at To Je To again. Obviously it was our favorite spot in town. A little bit tipsy and tired from the heat, we headed back to bed to prepare ourselves for the early morning ahead of us.

Have you been to Split, Croatia before?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

July favorites

July Favorites 2015

July was a whirlwind of a month. My boyfriend and I spent the first 11 days traveling around Europe and then the second half of the month was mostly spent playing catchup. Since I was mostly on the road, I didn’t anticipate to fall in love with any products, but I fell hard for a few.

The Skin Authority Go Gorgeous kit was my skin-care life blood during my trip. Everything was perfectly sized for dealing with airport security and it contained all my staple products. It’s going with me on every trip from now on!

july favoritesDuring our last stop – Amsterdam – I stumbled upon Skins Cosmetics, which is a gorgeous beauty and skin care store. While there, I treated myself to a perfume purchase to help me remember the trip – Byredo in Gypsy Water. I’ve been back for a month now and I’ve worn this scent every day since. Not only do I LOVE this scent, but I’ve received so many compliments on it. Always a plus.

July favoritesAnd last but not least, I have fallen seriously IN. LOVE. with Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day line. I was sent samples of all the goodies and wasn’t expecting much, but I was seriously proven wrong. I fell so in love that I’ve already repurchased the shampoo and conditioner after running out of my smaller sample sized and told everyone who would listen to scoop up these products for themselves ASAP.

July favorites

Skin Authority Go Gorgeous Kit |  Byredo in Gypsy Water

Perfect Hair Day ShampooPerfect Hair Day Conditioner

Perfect Hair Day Overnight Cap | Perfect Hair Day Styling Treatment

What were your favorite products in July?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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Five Steps to Treating Sun Damage & Preventing it in the Future

Unless you’ve hidden inside all summer long, you most likely spent a bit too much time basking in the sun. I’ve done a pretty good job avoiding sunburn this summer, but I know I’ve had a bit of sun damage and I wanted to know what I could do to help treat it. As always, the lovely Celeste filled me in on five steps I could take to help treat and prevent sun damage.

With school starting soon, August marks the unofficial end of summer for people in many parts of the country. I hope your season was filled with relaxation and a trip to your favorite sun-filled location. I also hope you wore (and wear daily) SPF.

Even with proper sunscreen application, you may have experienced sun damage this summer. Freckles, moles, wrinkles and uneven skin tone are signs of sun damage. There are few simple steps to treat sun-damaged skin and prevent future damage:

  1. I can’t emphasize this enough: protect the skin on a daily basis using a full-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you are active throughout the day, remember to reapply your sunscreen.
  2. Powerful antioxidants like vitamin C help protect the skin against UV rays, too.  C boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen, so I urge you to apply a C serum daily underneath your sunscreen moisturizer.
  3. You should resurface the skin on a consistent basis.  Resurfacing is a way to exfoliate the skin that gently dissolves dead skin cells, some of which are likely to be discolored on the skin’s surface.  Consistent resurfacing not only evens the skin tone, it helps combat aging and balances the skin’s pH for hydrated, healthy skin.
  4. Two products I use to treat sun damage and dark spots are from Skin Authority: Hyperpigmentation Treatment and Brightening Serum.
  5. I urge you to visit your dermatologist annually to have any moles examined. Your physician can also recommend laser treatments to help with discoloration and aging caused by the sun.

If you have some spare time, make sure to check out Celeste’s other articles: Seven Tips for Skin Care Success in 2015The Skin Care Basics | Face Oils for Acne Prone Skin | Skin Care for Eyes | Men’s Skin Care | Vitamin C Serums | Three Steps to Sexy Skin.

Photo: Olin Gilbert; Disclosure

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

sephora haul

Sephora Haul: VIB Rouge Event

This past Sunday I was invited to a VIB Rouge “Beauty Before Brunch” party. What does that mean? People who spend too much money at Sephora on a yearly basis are invited to come spend even more money all at one time. Needless to say, I RSVPed as fast as my little fingers would let me and planned my mini Sephora Haul.

sephora haul

Having just returned for a long and relatively expensive vacation, I told myself I would save money by just picking up the “necessities.” But need is relative, and I ended up with three hair products I was excited to get my hands on. I snatched up the Living Proof PHD shampoo and conditioner, which I have been LOVING (more on that later), and the Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow it cream I had read about on Gouldylox. I haven’t tried the B&B cream yet, but I’m going to this weekend and I can’t wait!

sephora haul

In addition to the products that I paid for, each event-goer was gifted an adorable makeup bag filled with samples from all sorts of brands ranging from KORRES to benefit to Chloe. Not a bad perk!

What goodies have you picked up recently?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

european vacation dubrovnik

Europe 2015: Dubrovnik

The first day of our two-week European vacation started off on a fabulous foot in Dubrovnik. We landed at 2:30PM Dubrovnik time on the 26th and had to leave for our next stop at noon on the 28th, so we had a little more than a day and a half in Dubrovnik. It was a perfect amount of a time for an intro to the city, but I would love to go back and explore more of the surrounding area.

Day 1 – Exploring the Old City 

Our AirBnB host picked us up at the airport and drove us to our apartment for the next couple of days. While our room was very basic (that’s what you get for $23 USD a night), the view from our balcony was absolutely amazing. Being halfway up the hill looking over the city was such a treat, but walking back up to our apartment at the end of the day was a serious workout. I wouldn’t be surprised if we climbed over 1,000 steps during our time in Dubrovnik.

european vacation dubrovnikAfter we settled in and unpacked, we hightailed it over to the Old City to explore the alleys and walk the walls. My boyfriend watches Game of Thrones, so he enjoyed walking around and seeing where a bunch of different scenes were filmed. I can’t stand GOT, so I just enjoyed walking around and listening him explain the scenes.

european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnik IMG_3913 european vacation dubrovnikAfter walking a while, we stopped for dinner, which was underwhelming. To be completely honest, I wasn’t super impressed with much of the food we ate in Croatia. I blame part of it on myself for not doing more research on where to eat, but I also blame part of it on how touristy the areas we visited were. If we wen’t off the beaten path a bit, I think we would have found some delectable treats. Then, we headed to Cafe Buza for cliff-side drinks and walked around some more, stopping to listen to live Jazz, before heading back to our apartment for some sleep and to rest up for day two.

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Day 2 – Lokrum and Sunset Drinks

After sleeping in a bit, we made our way back down to the Old City for a light breakfast before hopping on a ferry to Lokrum. Just a 20ish minute boat ride from the coast, Lokrum is like a world of its own. No one lives on the island expect for the local peacocks who walk around like they own the place … which they basically do. After a stop at the very random and very hilarious outdoor gym area, we finally stopped at the cove for a leisurely swim in the Adriatic Sea.

european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnikAfter spending most of the day on the island, we headed back to the Old City and then our apartment to clean up for dinner and drinks on the other side of the island. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of that night’s lovely sunset. After getting spruced up, we headed over to the Hotel Palace for a couple of drinks along the water. Remember that sunset I mentioned two sentences ago? It didn’t disappoint. It was a bit cloudy, but the sunset was still breathtaking. Once the sun was gone for the night, we walked around the neighborhood to find some dinner and headed to Hotel More for a drink in their Cave Bar.

european vacation dubrovnik european vacation dubrovnikFeeling adventurous from a few too many drinks, we caught a cab back to Old City to explore more of the nightlife, but didn’t last long. We eventually hiked back up the millions of steps to our apartment to crash before packing up and driving to Split the next morning.

Have you been to Dubrovnik before?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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denim short ootd

Short and Sweet

This post is weird for me. I went into this outfit shoot with Agnes knowing I’d hate 99% of the photos because I’m not the biggest fan of my legs. Having struggled with eating and body-image issues more-or-less my entire life, I try to be kind to myself about my body, but sometimes I fail big time.

I seriously considered changing outfits before we met up, but I forced myself to wear shorts in an outfit post to try to get over my insecurities and because I’ve been living in shorts on the weekends at the beach. I’d love to say I totally owned the shoot and loved my legs in all the photos, but that would be a blatant lie.

It was hard for me to sort through the photos and come thigh-to-face with my legs. Anyways, I don’t want to force you to listen to me body-shame myself for an entire post, so instead I’ll leave you with a few of the photos I liked most.

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Let’s end this post on a high note. I am so excited that I finally purchased a pair of white Converse. I have this same pair in light grey, and I love them, but they don’t go with everything. When I was in Copenhagen and Amsterdam, everyone and their mother was wearing a pair of these and I scooted to Nordstrom Rack as soon as I got back to pick up a pair of my own. Best purchase all summer!

Tshirt Madewell | Vest MaxJeans (similar)

Necklace Stella and Dot | Shorts Paige | Sneakers Converse

What clothing items are you migrating to this summer?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure